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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Optimization of the Nutritional, Functional, and Sensory Properties of Raw and Processed Legumes, Grains, and Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: A review of flavor, aroma and color enhancement in gluten free and conventional pastries, waffles and dairy desserts with mesquite pod mesocarp flour (abstract)

Authors
item Felker, Peter -
item Takeoka, Gary

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Mesquite is a nitrogen fixing tree whose pods were a major food for indigenous desert peoples. The main mesquite flour of commerce is milled from the pod mesocarp (without seeds) and contains 45% sucrose, 25% dietary fiber, 8 % protein, and 2 % fat. The limiting amino acids are methionine and cysteine. The mesquite flour has neither raffinose or stachyose (<0.01%) that cause flatulence but has high fiber (mainly insoluble) ranging from 23% to 32%, 650 ± 34 mg 100g-1 of total antioxidants as gallic acid equivalents and 1,239 ± 71 vitamin C equivalents. Hexanal production (a rancidity indicator) was five times less when drum dried wheat flour contained 25% mesquite flour. Some commercial mesquite flour consists of the entire ground pod and contains lower sugars (29%), higher protein (15%), higher fat (3.5%), 40 times higher hexanal concentrations and ground Bruchid seed weevils. Mesquite flour has volatiles, primarily 5, 6-dihydro-6-propyl-2H-pyran-2-one, that contributes to a chocolate and coconut-like aroma. In taste panel tests the optimum mesquite concentration was 5% in crackers, 10% in bread, 13% in pancakes/waffles, 20% in tortillas, and 50% in chapatti and drum dried wheat flour. In separate panels, the greatest consumer acceptance was in a chocolate beverage base. Mesquite pods do not have cyanogenic glycosides but possess trypsin inhibitors and phytohemagglutinins. Aflatoxin occurred in Sonoran mesquite pods but not in commercial Argentine flours. Concentrations <2.5 ppm for the peanut allergen, of 4.2 ppm for the soy allergen and < 5 ppm for gliadin were found in Argentine mesquite flour. To enhance food safety, an FDA petition was submitted to permit gamma irradiation for mesquite flour in raw and ready to eat, pH neutral shakes and dairy applications. Prosopis flour seems especially promising to enhance fiber and flavor/aroma combinations in pulse flour formulations and traditional celiac diet.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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